More than half of Indian adults have had first jab

More than half of India’s eligible population – some 473 million people – have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, official data said. India has been ramping up its vaccination drive as it races to stave off a third wave of infections, reports BBC. It has so far given more than 610 million doses of three approved vaccines – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V.

The government aims to vaccinate all Indians by the end of this year. India took 19 days to administer the last 100 million doses, compared to 85 days to give the first 100 million jabs, the government said. But only about 15% of eligible adults have been fully vaccinated since the beginning of the drive in January. Regional disparities persist as well with larger and poorer states lagging behind smaller and richer states. India has reported more than 32 million Covid cases, second only to the US. The country is also only the third in the world to record more than 400,000 deaths – behind the US and Brazil. Since 16 January, India has administered more than 610 million doses. Some 473 million people have received the first dose and another 138 million or so have received both doses so far. India has been giving 5.3 million jabs daily on an average for about a month now, according to Dr Rijo M John, a health economist. Experts say India needs to administer more than 10 million doses a day to fully inoculate all eligible adults by the end of this year. Much will depend on levels of vaccine hesitancy and the availability of doses in the coming months.